Metal-loaded zeolite remediation of soils contaminated with pandrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii
Due to the development of resistance to antimicrobial agents, bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii is nowadays a leading cause of nosocomial outbreaks. Clinically relevant A. baumannii outside hospital settings including natural soils affected by human waste represents a public-health risk for humans and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of metal-loaded zeolites to eliminate viable A. baumannii from artificially contaminated natural soils. A. baumannii isolate was subjected to the activity of natural zeolitised tuff (NZ) and Cu-modified (CuNZ) or Ag-modified zeolite (AgNZ) in wet, slightly acidic terra rossa and slightly alkaline red palaeosol. A. baumannii survived in terra rossa and red palaeosol supplemented with 1 wt% of NZ for seven days and four months, respectively. The addition of 1 wt% of CuNZ to terra rossa and red palaeosol shortened the survival of A. baumannii to three and 14 days, respectively. The addition of 0.1 wt% of AgNZ to both soils resulted in complete removal of viable A. baumannii within 1 h of contact, while the total native heterotrophic bacterial counts remained high. Since AgNZ is prepared with a simple modification of cost-effective and environmentally friendly natural zeolite, it is a promising material for the remediation of soils contaminated with pandrug-resistant A. baumannii.